Bath are wasting no time in replacing Mike Ford.
When news of Mike Ford’s sacking filtered through on Monday, very few fans were surprised. After all, Bath suffered a torrid season, despite possessing some the the Premiership’s best players.
Within hours, commentators identified various candidates to replace Ford, with Heyneke Meyer thought leading a short list of contenders that included, Todd Blackadder, Pat Lam and Stuart Lancaster.
However, the list of potential candidates was shortened further when the Daily Mail reported that Stuart Lancaster was set to snub an approach from Bath.
After the Irish Independent quoted Connacht’s CEO, Willie Ruane, as saying that there are ‘no specific clauses with regards to bigger clubs or Premiership clubs’ in Pat Lam’s contract, it seemed as though Bath were going to have to cast their net further than expected.
However, in an unexpected move, the Bath Chronicle have claimed Bath will appoint South African forwards coach, Johan Van Graan, as either head coach or interim head coach.
The Rugby Paper’s Neil Fissler also reported that Bath will appoint Van Graan, but was equally vague on his role.
— Neil Fissler (@neilfissler) May 19, 2016
Intriguingly, Van Graan attended Bath’s final home game of the season against the Leicester Tigers, as he was earmarked to takeover from England bound scrum coach, Neal Hatley.
The vague way in which Van Graan’s appointment is being made is only heightening speculation as to who the identity of Mike Ford’s replacement will be.
Indeed, as Van Graan previously worked as forwards coach under Meyer with the Springboks, some are suggesting that the duo are set to take over at The Rec.
While others maintain that as Van Graan might only be taking over as head coach on an interim basis, Bath’s number one target might not currently be available, indicating that they could be waiting until the end of the Super Rugby season before appointing Blackadder.
Watch this space…
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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